Major in Mathematics or Computer Science

Mathematics is at its heart the search for pattern or structure. It is an essential component of the liberal arts: A mathematician finds a structure and develops a vocabulary or theory for describing, exploring, and extending it further. Each course in mathematics engages students in the search and in the articulation of the consequences. The study of mathematics requires both creativity and rigorous, logical thinking. Mathematics courses are designed to meet two goals: (1) to introduce some of the most influential ideas and techniques in mathematics; and (2) to develop problem-solving ability by teaching students to combine creative mathematical searching with rigorous reasoning.

About The Program

The Mathematics Department offers a major in mathematics leading either to the B.A. degree or the B.S. degree. Each program provides a broad education in fundamentals and problem-solving strategies. The B.A. option offers a basic major in mathematics. The B.S. option is designed for students with an additional strong interest in science or engineering. Both options are appropriate for students who plan to pursue graduate study in the same or related fields.

The Mathematics Department offers two minors—a minor in mathematics and a minor in data science. Data Science is an emerging field that combines computer science and statistics. The minor in Data Science teaches programming skills, programming languages Java and R, data analytics, models and visualizations. Minors in mathematics and data science complement majors in many fields, including biology, business, chemistry, and earth and environmental science. The department also offers courses to support secondary teacher certification in cooperation with the Education Department through the MAEd. The program meets all content requirements for effective high school teaching and for licensure in Virginia. Further, the department offers coursework for students seeking certification in elementary education.

Majors: Mathematics (BA, BS)
Minors: Mathematics, Data Science
Department Chair: Dr. Lydia Kennedy
College: Joan P. Brock School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Why Study at VWU?

Pre-Engineering Program at ODU
The Pre-Engineering Program offers students the opportunity to earn both a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Wesleyan University and a Master's degree in Aerospace, Biomedical, Civil, Compute​r, ​​​Electrical, Environmental​, Mechanical, Modeling & Simulation, or Systems Engineering from Old Dominion University.

Independent or guided research projects are en­ couraged and pursued by many students in these programs. Students are offered the opportunity to conduct original research in an area of interest. Students work closely with one or more members of the natural science faculty to develop and conduct a research project, and then present their find­ ings during the semester's undergraduate research symposium or at PORT day. Students are also encouraged to present their findings at a conference. Qualified students assist mathematics instructors in the classroom. Enrollment as a teaching assis­ tant is by invitation of the MATH/CS department. Although the course is required for students seeking certification in secondary education, enrollment is not limited to such students.

Career options in mathematics include:

  • actuary
  • operations research
  • cryptanalyst
  • cost estimator
  • national security analyst
  • statistician
  • and education

Career options in computer science include:

  • software developer
  • programmer
  • system analyst
  • computer administrator
  • and systems consultant